YouthLink Scotland has called for funding to be committed to Erasmus+ as a summit on digital youth work begins in Glasgow
A youth charity has turned up the heat on Boris Johnson by asking him to commit to the continuation of a European educational exchange.
With the International Digital Youth Work Summit taking place in Glasgow this week, YouthLink Scotland has unveiled its new European Guidelines for Digital Youth Work and called upon the Prime Minister to continue Erasmus+ youth funding post Brexit.
The project demonstrates the crucial role Erasmus+ funding has in the training of youth workers and access to life-changing opportunities for young people from some of the country’s most disadvantaged communities.
The Digital Youth Work Project and new European Guidelines aim to build capacity to deliver digital youth work at local, national, regional and European levels. It is a transnational Erasmus+ project with seven partners from six different countries across European Union.
Over the past 30 years, 600,000 people from the UK have taken part in Erasmus+. Between 2014 and 2020, Erasmus+ will have been worth £793 million to the UK.
Commenting, international project lead, Liz Green of YouthLink Scotland, said: “The European Guidelines for Digital Youth Work and the other materials developed through this project demonstrate the crucial role of youth workers as educators in the 21st Century. Youth workers are ideally placed to help young people to navigate the online aspects of their lives and be empowered in an increasingly digitalised world.
“In the midst of uncertainty on our future relationship with Europe, this project, yet again, demonstrates the value of the Erasmus+. We ask Boris Johnson to make a commitment to the continuation of Erasmus+, a programme that already involves non-EU members, including Iceland and Norway.”
In Scotland taking youth work online will support young people from the LGBTI school community, allowing teenagers from across the country, who are either socially or geographically isolated to connect with each other through social platforms, while being supported by youth workers from LGBT Youth Scotland.
The MY WelcomeGuide in Munich is an innovative film project, created for young refugees and asylum seekers arriving to live in the city. These films provide new arrivals with information to help them settle in to their new home, suggestions on how to cope with everyday life in a different country and how to get involved in their community.
In Denmark, youth workers are helping vulnerable young people through a virtual clubhouse, which offers online counselling in a safe space.
Suvi Tuominen, manager of Verke, the Centre of Expertise for Digital Youth Work in Finland believes working together benefits young people: "We have gained new insights from international colleagues, something we can use also in our national work in the future. We have had very fruitful co-operation with YouthLink Scotland on the topic of digital youth work over the past few years. Scottish and Finnish youth work principles and practices resemble each other in many ways, so it opens up many possibilities for collaboration also in the future."
Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, said: “On behalf of the Scottish Government, I would like to thank YouthLink Scotland for exploring Digital Youth Work internationally and the benefits this could bring to young people in Scotland. I feel the guidelines for Digital Youth Work are a significant development, which has the potential to broaden the experiences of young people.”